Garcia wants Capitol to take over Metro Cebu Expressway project

Garcia wants Capitol to take over Metro Cebu Expressway project
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GOVERNOR Gwendolyn Garcia offered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the opportunity to allow the provincial government to assume control of the Metro Cebu Expressway project through a public-private partnership (PPP).

“Accept the fact that the Province of Cebu is open to a public-private partnership and give it to the LGU to invite interested parties to propose a diversion highway from Naga all the way to Danao,” the governor told DPWH officials during a meeting on Friday, March 15, with the captains of barangays affected by the project.

The Metro Cebu Expressway project, which has had problems with the environment and construction failure, is being implemented by DPWH-7.

The decision was made in the face of growing problems, which were brought to light by an incident involving a construction breakdown at a project's environmentally sensitive areas in the City of Naga last year.

Garcia has stressed that addressing the difficulties encountered by the road project requires a more effective strategy.

She claimed that involving a private party through a PPP could be able to expedite the implementation process and guarantee a quicker rate of development.

Under DPWH control, the 73.7-kilometer expressway that was intended to serve as an alternate highway connecting the cities of Danao in the north and Naga in the south has encountered several major obstacles.

The recent setback in Naga City made it much more imperative that an intervention be made in order to keep the project moving forward.

“We are in the best position because we can deal with our local government units,” the governor said regarding the Capitol’s capacity to manage the Cebu Expressway project with the private sector.

DPWH is expected to reply to the Capitol's offer early next month, as officials in attendance at the meeting, led by DPWH-7 planning chief Engr. Nonato Paylado are asked to let DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan know about this.

“We are highly capable of entering into a PPP at no expense to the national government, at greater speeds with more efficiency and no hidden costs,” Garcia declared.

The Cebu Expressway project is not the first time Capitol would partner with the private sector in pursuing large-scale projects, as demonstrated by its existing and upcoming PPP initiatives with numerous private enterprises.

“We can take care of our own infrastructure, because we can – we will,” she remarked.

In handling projects, the governor claimed that the Capitol has already "earned a reputation in the business community for being straightforward."

Manila Water and Filinvest Land are two current joint venture partners of Capitol.

In addition, a joint venture agreement to construct a 150-megawatt solar facility in Daanbantayan, northern Cebu, is scheduled to be signed with Acciona Energia Global, a company located in Spain. (TPT WITH PR)


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